Most people are familiar with bed bugs, but few know much about their life cycle. Bedbugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals. But although they are a nuisance, bedbugs are not known to transmit disease.
Bedbugs go through several stages of development, from egg to adult. The entire process, from egg to adult, can take as little as six weeks under the right conditions. Below is an in-depth look at the life cycle of bed bugs.
Bedbug eggs are small and white, about the size of a poppy seed. They are often found in cracks and crevices in furniture or bedding. Your bed can get eggs from an infested bed in a hotel or other rental property. Once bedbugs have eggs, they can start reproducing quickly.
Nymphs are baby bedbugs that hatch from eggs. They’re small and hard to see. Nymphs go through five stages of development before becoming adults. They will need to feed on blood before each molt, or shedding of their skin.
Adult bedbugs are brown and flat, about the size of an apple seed. They’re good at hiding in cracks and crevices in furniture, bedding, and walls. Bedbugs usually come out at night to feed on blood. If they don’t get a meal, they can live for several months without feeding.
Bedbugs can live for up to a year under the right conditions. They can go without feeding for long periods of time, but they will eventually die if they don’t get a meal.
How to Recognize Bed Bug Bites
Bed bug bites usually happen at night while you’re sleeping. You may not notice the bite until you wake up in the morning. The bites will usually be in a line or cluster, and they may be red and itchy.
If you have bedbugs, there may be small blood stains on your sheets or mattress as well. For more tips, check out these early warning signs for spotting bed bugs.
Bed Bug Prevention
The best way to prevent bedbugs is to avoid infested areas. When you travel, inspect your hotel room for bedbugs. When you buy used furniture, inspect it for bedbugs.
You can also take some steps to prevent bedbugs from getting into your home in the first place. These steps include:
- Vacuuming regularly
- Washing bedding and clothing in hot water
- Keeping your home clean and clutter-free
- Inspecting secondhand furniture before you bring it into your home
If you think you have bedbugs, don’t panic! There are ways to get rid of them. Contact a pest control professional to get rid of bedbugs from your home.
Understanding the Life Cycle of Bed Bugs
By understanding the life cycle of bed bugs, you can better prevent and treat an infestation. If you notice anything suspicious, be sure to call pest control right away!
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